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Andros Murderers Tell Judge They Have "Difficulty Adjusting To Incarceration" At Sentencing

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

TWO men convicted of the murder and kidnapping of an Immigration Department officer and his girlfriend in Andros have had difficulty adjusting to incarceration, a judge was told on Friday.

Zintworn Duncombe, 28, and James Johnson, 22, appeared before Justice Indra Charles for the penalty phase of their trial for their respective roles in the murder and kidnapping of Shane Gardiner and his girlfriend, Tishka Braynen, in 2013.

Dr John Dillard, a licenced psychiatrist with the Public Hospitals Authority, testified on Friday that he found no evidence or record of mental illness in Duncombe or Johnson.

However, he did note that Duncombe said he had experienced nightmares since his incarceration and that Johnson had suffered from a mild adjustment disorder.

Both men, he said, were co-operative and able to communicate effectively with him during their clinical interviews that aided the preparation of psychiatric reports for the court’s consideration.

The psychiatrist said he could not say definitively whether either man was incapable of reform when probed by Duncombe's second lawyer, Jerone Roberts.

He did stress that neither Duncombe or Johnson displayed anti-social or psychopathic tendencies.

The matter was adjourned to November 28 at 10am for submissions from defence and Crown counsel.

Gardiner and Braynen were allegedly killed after a failed plot to take $8,000 in gambling winnings from the immigration officer. Braynen, of Cargill Creek, and Gardiner, who lived in Love Hill, both in Central Andros, were reported missing around 1.45pm on November 24, 2013. Gardiner had recently been assigned to the island.

On December 21, 2013, police in Andros discovered the remains of a man with “items related to a female”.

Duncombe, Johnson, Daniel Coakley, 28, and Cordero Saunders, 26, were unanimously convicted of double kidnapping, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and attempted armed robbery.

The Crown is seeking the death penalty for Duncombe and Johnson, who were unanimously convicted of murder. Because of the request for the death penalty, the court ordered the production of a psychiatric report and social inquiry report with respect to the two convicts.

Duncombe, Saunders, Johnson and Coakley, who all maintain their innocence, are respectively represented by lawyers Ian Cargill, Moses Bain, Donna Major and Terrel Butler.

Darnell Dorsett and Patrick Sweeting prosecuted the case.

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